Monday, May 10, 2010

The Sack of Rome, 1527

The Mad Monarchist discusses one of the greatest atrocities of all time, perpetrated by Christians upon other Christians.
It was on this day in 1527 that one of the great disasters in modern European history occurred with the horrific sack of Rome by the out-of-control forces of the Holy Roman Empire. The violence was horrific, the cruelties committed were extreme and the desecrations unspeakable. It was certainly one of the most shameful episodes in the history of Europe and is generally considered as the end of the glorious Renaissance period. However, there was a shining example in this devastating atrocity and that was the immense heroism and sacrifice of the Papal Swiss Guard. All but a handful of these brave men were massacred, fighting to the death, overwhelmed and fighting up the very steps of St Peter’s Basilica; buying time with their lives for the handful that remained to escort Pope Clement VII to safety in Castel Sant’Angelo.


lara77 said...

The Swiss Guard not only saved the Pope's life but the French Royal Family when the mob attacked the Tuileries Palace. They were amazing men who put duty and service before their own lives.Any monarch or prelate would have been proud to have them guard their residence and person.

Hans Georg Lundahl said...


An ominous year for Sweden too.

1520 - 1527 Sweden was under interdict for deposing uncanonically Archbishop Gustav Eriksson Trolle (ironically same name and same patronym as for the Wasa elected King), but officially asking the Pope to replace Trolle by one of the brothers Magnusson/Månsson (Latin Magni).

That year the Parliament of Westaros decided to "purify" our religion from "papist superstitions" ... ouch!

Hans Georg Lundahl said...

By the way, one count of Orange around the shift to the Nassau dynasty participated in that crime.